'His baby sister will grow up without a big brother,' says family of murdered Tulbagh boy as neighbour arrested

The body of Reagan Gertse, 8, was found in Tulbagh on Sunday.
The body of Reagan Gertse, 8, was found in Tulbagh on Sunday.
Image: Supplied by family

A four-month old baby girl has been left to grow up without her big brother.

The family of eight-year-old Reagan Gertse is reeling after he was found murdered in Tulbagh, in the Western Cape, on Sunday.

His father Ricardo Davids said two of Reagan’s friends told them that he had disappeared on Saturday after leaving with an older man.

His alleged kidnapper is known to the family. At the time, the man denied that he had any involvement in Reagan’s disappearance. Instead, he told the family that he last saw Reagan and a 16-year-old boy playing along a gravel road.

“When he didn’t return home on Saturday, we started getting suspicious and then we sent my stepbrother early on Sunday morning to report the matter to the police,” Davids told TimesLIVE.

On Sunday morning when police arrived, Reagan’s friends still insisted that they saw him leaving with the man known to the family.

“The child said in front of him [the suspect] that he saw them together. They even called him by his name, but he still denied it. We continued to ask him where Reagan is and what he did with Reagan.”

Davids said the man lived a few metres from their home.

Reagan’s body was discovered by Davids and officers in bushes on a river bank at about 7am on Sunday.

“No words can describe how I felt. The first thought that came to mind was that I need to call his mother and remove her from the scene, because I didn’t want her to see him like that.”

Reagan's mother Louisa Gertse said her son was a well-respected boy who always dreamt of wearing the green and gold. “His dream was always to play for the Springboks. We will forever remember him for who he was,” she said.

A 53-year-old suspect was arrested in connection with the murder and is expected to appear in the Tulbagh magistrate’s court soon.

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